Master Suite or Master’s Suite?

When Juan and I married and blended our families we decided to remodel my two-bedroom, one bath house into a four bedroom house. There would be one office/guest room, one room for the boys and one for the girls to share.  Juan and I would have our own master bedroom, which we have since learned we have to share with our dog Molly, and occasionally Diego, whenever he has a bad dream.  Our house remodel also included a master spa bathroom, which we have since realized is not for our own exclusive use.

Whenever we complained to the kids about them using our bathroom, they protested that we had the good shower, more bath products, and better towels.  True, I did splurge and furnish our bathroom with plush linens. I wanted to create a spa atmosphere.  Maybe if the kids actually hung up their towels instead of leaving them on the floor,  I would be inclined to splurge on their linens too.  Last week I had to replace our bathmat. I splurged again and bought a nice plush one. It had a thick pile and matched the palette of our bathroom’s warm gold color.

This week, our Southern California weather and its endless summer finally turned to Fall. I came home from work and turned on the heater to take the chill out of the air. When I walked into my room, I smelled something musty.  I shrugged it off as the heater firing up.  Later that night, as I was getting ready for bed I went to my bathroom to perform my evening ritual of brushing, exfoliating, moisturizing and all manner of fighting against the aging process.  Again, I smelled something odd. I noticed that the toilet seat was up and looked at Juan accusingly suspiciously. He assured me that his aim was perfect.  We complained to each other that Diego was probably using our bathroom again.  He must have missed the mark. To his credit, Juan cleaned up around the toilet. Better.  At least it smelled like disinfectant.

The next day, after work, I walked into our bedroom and again detected a musty odor. I looked at the pile of shoes on Juan’s side of the bed. Could it be? No, foot odor is distinctly different. That night Diego again used our bathroom for his shower.  After his shower, as I trimmed his nails I smelled it again. I sniffed his hair to make sure he washed it. It was fine, like coconut. I smelled his hands. His nails were still a bit dirty, but his hands smelled fine. As I bent over to trim his toenails I smelled his feet. Musty! I sent him back into the shower since I was sure the feet of a 9 year-old soccer playing boy needed more scrubbing.

That night we fell asleep to the sound of our first Fall rain. In the morning, as I was taking a shower Juan groggily walked in and nearly slipped on our tile floor. He looked down and saw that the floor was damp.  I got out of the shower and stepped onto my new bathmat. My feet felt like they were stepping into a puddle.  The new bath mat felt wet, actually soggy. Hmm, that’s weird. Wet floor, damp mat. Could we have a leak in our roof? Juan and I started inspecting the ceiling to see if we could find the source of the water.  No leak.

Suddenly it occurred to me that maybe the source of the leak wasn’t the ceiling. I looked down at the new bathmat. I remembered that Molly, our fox terrier, had been housebroken on pee pads.  Juan grabbed some paper towels and as he cleaned up the wet floor, we discovered what he was mopping up was not water. It was yellow and had a musty smell.

I guess I will have to buy a new bath mat. Maybe this time I’ll buy one that’s not so plush.

The Master and Diego in my bed.

The Master and Diego in my bed.

Random Saturday

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I am having a hard time finding the time and energy to post on my blog. My last post was a photo I took on a rare lunch time outing during my work week. Juan and I took some time during the noon hour to eat lunch together and on our walk through downtown LA, I saw this, so I took a picture and declared it a Wordless Wednesday post. Juan likes to call it “Cop-out Wednesday.” Yeah, get your own blog.

Without much time to write a new post, or finish those drafts I have in the queue, here’s a random recap of my week:

Diego very proudly shared with me that he caught a ball during the recess game of kick ball. He was thrilled! He was playing 2nd base and saw the pink rubber ball sailing through the air directly at him. He put his arms out, positioned himself and caught the ball! It was the first time he caught a fly ball. He beamed with pride as his friends congratulated him!

Another proud moment yesterday when we got news that Nico, so far, has been accepted to two of the three high schools he’s applied for! Erica was also accepted into one of her choices. Both of them are still waiting to hear from a third high school and their top choices. We should learn about those later today….

While I am talking about proud moments in my family’s life, Olivia and her debate partner went undefeated in last weekend’s debate tournament. The topic? Birthright citizenship. Her next stop? State qualifiers.

I had my own proud moment and moment of relief earlier last week when I learned that my score from that damn exam was high enough to place me in the top band of test takers, making me eligible for a promotion. It was bittersweet news though, since this week my office promoted people from the list and I wasn’t one of them. Ah well, I am still in the running for future promotions.

Work, church and now the boys playing baseball, promise to keep my life incredibly busy for the next few months. So, I took advantage of a lull in my schedule last weekend and Juan, Diego and I drove to San Jose to visit some of my extended family for a birthday celebration of a much loved uncle. It was so much fun re-connecting with all my cousins, even if we were together for just one afternoon. It reminded me to re-commit myself to writing more of my family history to include on this blog. Sigh.

Primas, primas, primas!

As I write this I hear the pitter patter of Diego waking up and coming down the hall to climb into bed with me. I also hear Molly running alongside her and know I have to brace myself against Molly jumping on my bed, and licking me. I guess my morning reprieve is about over, and I’ll have to start my day. But first I want to give a shout out to the Thunder Shirt. It’s a miracle! We discovered in on the Sky Mall during our flight to Las Vegas and we bought one. The first time we put it on Molly she acted like she was drugged. She was calm, sedate and happy. She didn’t jump on me when I came through the door and didn’t bark at our neighbors as they walked past our front yard. She’s a different dog, and much easier to love. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like she should wear it 24/7 so she doesn’t sleep with it and her morning greetings to me are just as, ahem, energetic as ever. I guess she’s trying to tell me I should be getting up to start my day. She’s right. A double dose of baseball, a birthday party, and a church retreat await me. Happy Saturday!

 Happy Saturday!




Skunk Spray and Dog Pee, The Gifts That Keep on Giving.

Some weeks I drive carpool for Olivia and two of her friends. We are up early and and on the road at 6:45. In the morning.  Some mornings I have to drag Diego out of bed extra early and bring him with me. Needless to say, three teen girls, and a sleepy 7 year-old at 6:45 in the morning, are not the most pleasant company as we wind our way through traffic to get to the girls high school a few cities away. Often the sound of the silence in the car is deafening, disrupted only by the occasional “uh-huh,” and accompanied by the requisite adolescent eye-rolling.  One day last week was a completely different story.

Olivia was riding shot-gun and Diego was strapped in his booster seat beneath a couple of blankets, dozing. I picked up K and M, two of Olivia’s friends. When they got into the van, Olivia asked them if they smelled skunk. K and M replied that yes, in fact that did. Olivia was mortified, and began to offer an explanation. She told them how the night before, when she got out of the shower she reached for the towel that had been in her bedroom. The towel had been draped over a pile of clean laundry, which was on the floor, in a basket.

As Olivia used the “fresh” towel to dry herself she found it odd that it was slightly damp and not exactly clean smelling–in fact, it smelled a little like, wait for it, dog urine! Yes, our dog Molly found the towel laying atop the laundry on her bedroom floor and thought it was her pee pad! When Olivia discovered she had just dried herself off with the pee towel, Olivia, jumped back into the shower and took another equally long shower.  Maybe it was Olivia’s heightened sense of smell or the thought of all that dog pee, but the thought of sleeping in her own room where the scent of dog pee still lingered was too much for her, so she opened up her bedroom window, and went to sleep in her sister’s room.

The next morning the entire household was awakened to the very real and distinctive smell of skunk spray. Olivia’s open bedroom window allowed the stench to permeate from outside the house. The skunk scent lingered everywhere skunk had been, outside Olivia’s bedroom window, on the front porch, and on the driveway where our van was parked.  No wonder K and M could smell it when we picked them up. Maybe it was the idea of Olivia drying herself with the pee towel, or the skunk story, but soon the girls began telling their own skunk stories.  K told us about the time a skunk had crawled under her house and died. Her family tried to hire a couple of people to remove it but the stench was so bad no one would go near the dead skunk.  Every time they got close enough to remove it, they would vomit. I guess all this talk of dog pee, skunk spray and vomit was just too much for Diego, who I thought had fallen back asleep. I was wrong, Diego was listening, fascinated by the grossness of it all.  As K  finished telling her story, Diego, chimed in.  He asked, how did the skunk die and why didn’t anyone try to give the skunk CPR? With the curiousity of a 7 year-old Diego asked, if they had given the skunk CPR, couldn’t they have vomited in the skunk’s mouth?That was enough to send squeals of eeww among the girls. Diego just laughed out loud, very pleased with himself.  I just grimaced and thought to myself, that maybe it was better to have a quite carpool  in the morning.